Hockey Tour to Holland

Our highly anticipated hockey tour to Holland took off on Friday 20 October. Over five days, we played three great matches, had four training sessions, enjoyed two ferry rides, endured two very long coach journeys and experienced Dutch hockey at its finest.

On arrival, our first match was against Overbos Hockey Club who greeted us with amazing hospitality despite a lot of rain. Tormead’s second team was up first, fuelled by a tonne of sweets eaten on the journey. Nerves ran high as our match commenced. We started well but soon realised that teams in Holland are very strong. Throughout the match, we had some good possession but struggled to get a goal. Along with some stunning left to right drags, our defence stayed strong and managed to get it through to midfield more. Despite great efforts, we lost 6-0 but were welcomed out of the pouring rain by some delicious pizzas. Socialising with the opposition was definitely a highlight of the first match, learning all about the culture in Holland. Later that evening, we headed back to the hostel for some desperately needed sleep for the upcoming day.

Some much needed stretches, led by Mr Patterson, got us prepared for the day ahead. Ready for our first training session, we focused on counter attacks and attacking play. After the session, we were all delighted to find a whole buffet of traditional Dutch food, which we all really enjoyed, made by a very sweet local couple. That evening, we played our second match against HC Terriers. It was a tough match but we improved and lost 4-0. Despite some contact from both sides, we played with great strength down the pitch (despite the rain again!). We had even more fantastic chances at a goal but it never quite worked out. That night we watched a tense and exciting Rugby World Cup match (England vs South Africa) with some very dedicated fans on both sides.

On 22 October we had a jam-packed day. To start, we went for what we thought was a leisurely cycle ride to the beach. We were all treated to some delicious hot chocolates at an authentic Dutch café. All was going well. However, things took a turn for the worse when we decided it would be a good idea to push our bikes on (and up!) the sand dunes. What we thought was a short cycle had turned into a 16km ride. Eventually we made it through the sand dunes and home, even with a few crashes, to have some tasty crepes. Next we watched Alkmaar hockey ladies’ team win a very competitive match. We learnt lots of tips to take into our final game. Lastly, we had our second training session working on shooting lots of goals. The day finished with an amazing sunset and a tasty dinner back at the hostel.

Bright and early, we had a very useful training session with two Dutch coaches called Yanik and Laurens. We worked on quick passes, options and “1,2s”. It was amazing to experience Dutch coaching in Holland! Next, we had an outing to Alkmaar to experience the city and the canals. On the boat trip we learnt about all the historical architecture and ducked under many very low-lying bridges! Finally, it was time for our last match against the MHC HHW hockey club. We were all extremely determined to score a long-awaited goal, with some great cheering and coaching from Miss Dale and Mr Patterson. We worked hard and scored a great goal. There were some fantastic celebrations from Tormead! It was still a tough match but we improved and drew 1-1. We were all elated with our amazing result. Through all our hard work it paid off. Our last evening finished with some celebratory singing on the coach back to our hostel.

Thank you to all the amazing clubs, organisers and teachers, without them the trip would not have been such a success. We have even forgiven the teachers for the 3:50am start time of the trip!

Rosie, Phoebe & Charlotte, Y10

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